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Judicial CP - May 1997

Borneo Bulletin, BSB, 16 May 1997

Witnesses call bluff of robber who said he was framed

By Nadhra Haneesa

The Brunei High Court yesterday sentenced an unemployed Bruneian man to nine years' jail and twelve strokes of the cane after finding him guilty of robbery.

Twenty-seven-year-old Md Jullaini bin Haji Hidup from Kampong Bolkiah A in Kampong Ayer was charged with voluntarily causing fear of instant hurt to Josephine Chieng, a hotel worker, in his attempt to steal three wrist watches, two rings and cash, in B$28.40 and M$50.

The offence was committed on January 17 this year around 10 pm at a block of flats in Jalan Berangan.

At an earlier mention this year, Jullaini pleaded not guilty and claimed trial, saying he had been framed and that the stolen items had been planted on him. He maintained his plea before Chief Justice Dato Sir Denys Roberts, sticking to his story that he had been framed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Yusree bin Haji Junaidi managed to nullify his claims by calling to the stand seven witnesses, comprising the victim and her colleagues.

During the trial, which ran over two days, it was learnt from Ms Chieng and her colleagues that Jullaini had answered her door that January evening, only to be confronted by a man dressed all in black and with a towel concealing half his face.

When he pointed a knife at her, the terrified woman ran into her bedroom, in which two of her roommates were resting, and they immediately shouted for help from their male flat-mates and called for the police.

The men rushed out after the fleeing robber and caught him at a parking lot beneath the flats. They recovered three watches and a knife.

When the police arrived, they found the money and jewellery in Jullaini's possession.

In his judgement, the Chief Justice said he believed all the witnesses, and quashed the allegations made by Jullaini, who has a record of theft and assault convictions.

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Colin Farrell